Veteran Sacramento-area musician and music educator Kurt Pearsall has been designated the new full-time director of the Capitol Pops Concert Band, assuming his conducting duties in September.
He succeeds Jerry Lopes, who is retiring from the position in August after serving as the CPCB’s only director since the band was formed in 1997.
“I am honored to have this opportunity to conduct the Capitol Pops,” Pearsall said. “I have known Jerry Lopes for more than 35 years and am humbled that he would think I am worthy enough to pass the baton over to me. It will not be easy following such a gracious, kind, knowledgeable and consummate professional musician.”
Pearsall, 58, has multiple degrees from California State University, Sacramento, including a master’s degree in music. He has an extensive background as a performer and educator.
His professional performance portfolio includes backup musician work with a long list of top-tier entertainers, such as Johnny Mathis, Englebert Humperdink, the Temptations, Dionne Warwick, Wayne Newton and Connie Francis. He has played in the Sacramento Music Circus pit orchestra for more than a dozen seasons.
Pearsall, a master of multiple musical instruments and widely recognized for his prowess on the trumpet, also has served as the California State Fair bugler and a staff musician at World Disney World and with Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus World, both in Florida. Besides playing in numerous bands, he has been a longtime performer at what is now the Sacramento Music Festival.
He has diverse jazz experience. In 1980, he originated and directed the Jazzin’ Juniors Jazz Band; he originated and directed the Rocklin Quarry Cats Jazz Band in 1984. He’s one of the founders of the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Youth Camp, sponsored by the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society.
Pearsall’s teaching experience dates back more than 30 years, instructing at the middle school, high school, collegiate and private professional levels. His teaching background includes associations with CSUS and the University of Nevada, Reno.
Lopes is one of the Capitol Pops Concert Band’s co-founders. In his role as director, he prepared and conducted hundreds of CPCB performances over a 17-year span. Lopes’ 50-year career includes decades as a music educator, international performer and memberships in the region’s top symphony/orchestra organizations. He continues to play tuba and bass locally with Dr. Bach and the Jazz Practitioners and the American River College Orchestra.
The Capitol Pops Concert Band annually performs a diverse portfolio of high-quality, well-prepared music heard by thousands of concert-goers throughout Northern California. It plays at more than a dozen Sacramento-region venues annually. The band’s musical repertoire includes music from Broadway shows, movies, marches, patriotic, vocal and instrumental solos and popular music from several eras.
Most concerts are free and open to the public. The self-supporting, nonprofit CPCB is made up of about 65 volunteer musicians, ranging from college-age students to nonagenarians. Musicians and vocalists represent a wide cross-section of the Sacramento area, with educators, business people, industry professionals and retirees in the fold. CPCB’s scholarship fund supports the education of student musicians.
More information on the band can be found at capitolpops.org or on Facebook.